Embracing the Concept of Customer Advocacy

You have done an excellent job of getting people to embrace your brand in a really profound way. Social media really helped you to accomplish that and now you are at the point where your clients and prospective clients are totally involved with what you are doing and what you are offering. That is not only beneficial for the obvious reasons but those clients and prospects also have the ability to become loyal advocates for your brand.

Handle advocacy with kit gloves
What drives your clients and prospects to sing the praises of your brand is based on emotions. You are aware that emotions are delicate and if you don’t treat that connection and that loyalty carefully, it may not stay with you indefinitely. You certainly don’t want that to happen.

If you play your cards right, you have the potential not only to turn those clients and prospects into permanent loyalists but you also have the potential to gain even more loyalists through the connections of your existing loyalists. The situation has the potential to go viral, which is the ultimate prize for your business.

When it comes to your prices, if you have clients who have been with you for a while, you may want to continue to offer those clients the old prices even though you may have raised your prices for new clients. That alone will satisfy your loyal clients in general and that can definitely act as an incentive. You will want to explain that you are giving those people a price break because they are loyal to your brand and you value that a great deal.

Another way to bond with your loyalists is by offering them discounts whenever possible. Everyone likes to feel that they are getting a bargain and it really won’t cost you that much to offer a discount although what you get out of it will be really positive.

At this point, you may be wondering how you get your clients and prospective clients to become loyal to your brand. Well, there are a few different types of loyalists whom you should recognize.

    • First, you engage your clients and prospects: If you are taking this step, it means that your clients have had a number of positive experiences with your brand. They are at the point at which they want to be engaged by you. One way to determine that they have had positive experiences is if they have bought more than one of your offerings (or one offering more than once). The fact is that they would not have bought anything from you more than once if they were not happy with the first purchase. At this point, the connection that your clients have has existed for some time. This is a good stage for you to start to gather metrics so that you can determine what you are doing right and what you need to tweak. Of course, those metrics will not be the same for every business because each business has a different set of needs. At the same time, there will be some metrics in common with all (or most) businesses. Only you will be able to determine what works for your particular business.
    • Second, you create a lot of excitement in the client: Your goal is to get your clients to tell other people about your brand. If you are going to succeed at that, you will need to get them really excited about what you are offering. If you offer them incentives, discounts, etc., they will get excited and they will feel that you value their opinions and their business. What they will return to you in kind is that they will tell their friends, family, colleagues, etc., about your brand and about your offerings. That will increase your span and bring more loyal clients to you at some point (hopefully, in the near future). Because of the fact that the new connections are connected to people with whom you already share some sort of relationship, they are good-quality connections for you. Once you are certain that there is an established connection, you can start to connect with those people directly.
    • Cultivate new loyalists: Just like it is with any new relationship, you must take care to nurture it with love and tenderness. You are in the process of building a solid relationship with new loyalists and you should treat them with the same amount of care that you would treat anyone with whom you are building a relationship. You want to communicate clearly with them that you value their loyalty and their connection with you and with your brand. This is a sensitive stage in the relationship-building arena so make sure that you treat it as such. Your care and attention will certainly pay off.
    • Long-standing loyalists: All of your loyalists are extremely important for your brand. You must consider them in that way at all times. Loyalists who have been with you for a long time are certainly no less important than new loyalists. In fact, existing loyalists have gone to the next level of loyalty and you should acknowledge and show your appreciation for that. They should be treasured by you. After all, you want to ensure that they remain loyalists to your brand.
  • The loyalist who is all in: This is the loyalist who is loyal unconditionally. That person will pretty much do whatever you ask. That type of loyalist is rare and should be treated accordingly. In fact, you can’t hope for a person who is more dedicated than the loyalist who is all in. If you have any of those, you should consider yourself extremely lucky.

Loyalists are so important for the success of your business and they don’t come along all that often. If you are lucky enough to have loyalists to your brand, you should treasure them and realize that you are definitely doing something right as far as your business is concerned.

There are several ways to attract loyalists, including making connections with influencers. If you can turn influencers into loyalists, you have gotten a hold of the holy grail. It can’t be better than that. A loyalist (or brand advocate) will always be willing to speak on behalf of your brand, which will pave the way for you to achieve even greater success for your business.

Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.